Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing Note (February 20th, 2014)

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PLAIN TEXT VERSION:

1. More casualties in Kyiv as Zakharchenko issues criminal orders

Today the Yanukovych regime issued criminal orders, and is no longer bothering to hide it. Interior Minister Zakharchenko confirmed that live ammunition has been issued to special forces. Snipers and Berkut special forces shot live rounds at demonstrators on Hrushevsky street. The Maidan medical service has confirmed that between 70 to 100 people have been killed. There are reports that the regime will attempt to implement a state of emergency in Kyiv. The Yanukovych regime today declared war against its own people.

 

2. Head of Kyiv City State Administration leaves Party of Regions

The Head of the Kyiv City State Administration Volodymyr Makeyenko has left the Party of Regions and told Yanukovych that no government seat is worth human life, has left the Party of Regions. The city administration partially restored subway service in Kyiv, but trains are not stopping at Khreshchatyk or Independence Square.

 

3. Ukraine ombudsman condemns violence against demonstrators

Ukraine ombudsman Valeriya Lutkovska stated that the orders issued today by Zakharchenko are unacceptable and that “no international standard allows for law enforcement to fire weapons to stop mass unrest. International documents call for a minimization of harm from the use of force. Otherwise the orders are criminal.”

 

4. MPs and officials leave the Party of Regions

Party of Regions Members of Parliament and officials in the regions have begun to leave the Party of Regions. At least 9 MPs stated they have left the party. Several officials of various ranks – mayors, local deputies – have left the party. Another 10 MPs from Party of Regions have said that they support the people.

 

5. Security units begin to side with the people

Several security and police units have announced they will not carry out orders against the people. Police and internal security units in Zakarpattya, L’viv, Volyn, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Ternopil, Cherkassy and Poltava Oblasts have publicly refused to carry out the illegal orders. The commander of the Berkut unit in Chernivtsi Oblast stated that the troops under his command swear allegiance to the people of Ukraine and commits to not engage in any illegal acts against the Ukrainian people. The head of the Internal Affairs for L’viv Oblast stated in a press conference that he will continue to be guided in his actions by the laws and Constitution of Ukraine.


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